September wholesale & retail markets

Supercharged wholesale and retail used car markets in September

Cox Automotive saw supercharged wholesale and retail used car market activity in September through Manheim and

Cox Automotive saw supercharged wholesale and retail used car market activity in September through Manheim and, with lower stocking days across the board, despite higher volumes in both sectors compared to August.

In the retail market, saw days in stock falling by two days, and a 1.5% (£180) increase in the average selling price of cars listed on the car search website, rising to £12,290.

The increase was spread across prestige brands, where prices rose by 3.7% (£701) and volume brands, the average selling price of which increased by 1.2% (£109).

Hybrid cars saw the biggest increase in average selling price of all fuel types in the retail market, rising by 6.1% compared to August. Diesel and petrol cars both saw a monthly increase in selling prices of 2.0% and 1.5%, respectively.

Last month, the UK recorded its highest September temperature for 105 years, which seems to have affected the desirability of drop-tops, with prices rising by 6.1% in the retail market.

The seasonal rise in SUV values seems to be underway, as average selling prices were up by 7.9% compared to August.

In the wholesale market, there was a 3.1% increase in volumes at Manheim’s physical and online auctions and overall average selling prices fell by 4.4% (£255) to £5,523.

Used car market

Vendors benefitted from the quickest speed of sale for at least 12 months, with cars recording an average of just 9.2 days in stock. The results can also be attributed to Manheim’s investment in its multi-award winning ‘Swift’ process, which is getting vehicles prepared and on sale quicker.

As expected at this time of year, SUV values rose by 3.9% in the wholesale market and while prices of petrol cars held firm, there was a slight drop in the average selling price of diesel cars.

Part-exchanged stock performed best in the wholesale market in September, with average selling prices rising by 2.3% to reach their highest levels since September 2015, despite a 9.3% increase in part-exchange volumes in Manheim’s auctions.

Prestige marques saw used values rise by 1.6%, while volume brands had average selling prices 3.6% above their figure in August. Dealer vendors at Manheim recorded their quickest average speed of sale for at least six months in September at an average of just 7.3 days in stock.

In the ex-fleet market, prices fell to £9,280, 7.4% down from August, but Manheim’s fleet and leasing vendors also benefited from stronger conversions, with the quickest average time to sell since April at 14.4 days in stock.

Data from the SMMT shows that 469,696 new cars were registered in September, which was 1.6% up year-on-year and is the highest number of September new car registrations on record.

Clearly there may be some further softening in October as end-of-contract return volumes increase and demand eases, but Manheim has invested significantly in processes and systems to get vehicles on sale as quickly as possible and is well-placed to handle any increase in volumes effectively.